Something is there
I go out
to the pale dunes, to look over
the empty spaces
of the wilderness.
For something is there,
something is there when nothing is there but itself,
that is not there when anything else is.
There are places where vast emptiness stretches so far as to suggest infinity. The more deserted the landscape, the more absent any sounds except those of nature, the more haunting are the memories of visits to these sites. It’s awe-inspiring and a little frightening to stand amid such magnificent isolation. The terrain may vary– I’ve felt such spells cast by locations as distant from one another as the Cape Cod seashore, the Florida Everglades, the mountains of Colorado or the southernmost point of the United States, on the island of Hawaii– but the somber allure is similar regardless of where these lands are located. We will do well to preserve such sanctuaries of peace, these parcels of holy ground where we find again a sense of humility and perspective so often lost in the busyness of human endeavors.